臣 chén

radical 131
: minister; statesman; official; state official or subject in dynastic China
: “Your Servant”, form of address used when speaking to a ruler
: to submit oneself to the rule of or acknowledge allegiance to; to serve a ruler as his subject

Kun Reading

臣 | おみ omi

noun
: (Archaism) retainer; attendant;
: Omi (hereditary title; orig. one of the two highest such titles, later demoted to sixth highest of eight)

臣 | やつこ yatsuko

noun
: (Archaism) slave
: retainer; servant
: captive
: (Derogatory) varlet
: (Humble (kenjougo) language) I; me

臣 | やつこらま yotsukorama

noun
: retainer; servant

On Reading

臣 | しん shin

noun
: (Archaism) retainer; attendant
: (Humble (kenjougo) language) I (used by a servant when speaking to his master); me

じん jin

 Usage:

臣下 chen2xia4: official in feudal court; subject
[しんか shinka: retainer]
臣僕[仆] chen2pu2: servant
臣妾 chen2qie4: male and female servants
臣子 chen2zi3: official in feudal court; subject
臣民 chen2min2: subject (of a kingdom, ruler etc)
[しんみん shinmin: subject; national]
大臣 da4chen2: chancellor (of a monarchy); cabinet minister, important official
[だいじん daijin: cabinet minister OR おとど otodo: nobleman’s residence]
功臣 gong1chen2: minister who has given outstanding service
[こうしん koushin: meritorious retainer]
寵[宠]臣 chong3chen2: favored minister
[ちょうしん choushin: favored retainer]
忠臣 zhong1chen2: faithful official
[ちゅうしん chuushin: loyal retainer; loyal subject]
朝臣 chao2chen2: court councilor
[ちょうしん choushin OR あっそん asson OR あそん ason OR あそみ asomi: a courtier; (archaism) Asomi (second highest of the eight hereditary titles)]



Japanese common word
臣 秀吉 [丰臣秀吉] feng1 chen2 xiu4 ji2
臣 秀吉 toyotomi hideyoshi
: TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi (1536-1598), Japanese warlord (succeeding his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga. He was Nobunaga’s “saru” aka monkey), undisputed ruler of Japan 1590-1598. He brought the end of the Sengoku period.



Chinese idiom / proverb
臣一主二 chen2 yi1 zhu3 er4
: One has the right to choose the ruler one serves

骨鯁之臣 [骨鲠之臣] gu3 geng3 zhi1 chen2
: lit. fish bone of a minister; fig. person one can rely on for candid criticism

良禽择木而栖,贤臣择主而事。
liang2qin2 ze2mu4 er2 qi1, xian2 chen2 ze2 zhu3 er2 shi4.
A prudent bird chooses its tree to nest in. A wise servant chooses a patron of integrity [his master].

 Etymology:
象形 Pictographic.
Picture of a vertical eye,the position it takes when a slave is looking up to his master, reflecting its original meaning of “slave”.



“Minister” Radical 131



 
Look-alike:
㠯 [以] yi3: to use; by means of, with
巨 ju4: chief, huge, great



 Examples:
他本是國王的幸臣,一朝失寵眾人無不感到意外。
ta1 ben3 shi4 guo2wang2 de xing4 chen2, yi1 chao2 shi1chong3 zhong4ren2 wu2 bu4 gan3dao4 yi4wai4.
He was the king’s favorite, and his sudden fall from grace surprised everyone.

Resources: Chinese Dictionary | Japanese Dictionary